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British Steam Military Connections (ePub)

Southern Railway, Great Western Railway and British Railways - Steam Locomotives


By Keith Langston
Imprint: Pen & Sword Transport
Series: British Steam
File Size: 76.8 MB (.epub)
Pages: 239
Illustrations: 250
ISBN: 9781473853300
Published: 10th May 2018


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In Great Britain there existed a practice of naming steam locomotives. The names chosen covered many and varied subjects, however a large number of those represented direct links with military personnel, regiments, squadrons, naval vessels, aircraft, battles and associated historic events. For example, all but one member of the famous ‘Royal Scot’ class were named in honour of British regiments. Also the Southern Railway created a ‘Battle of Britain’ class of locomotives, which were named in recognition of Battle of Britain squadrons, airfields, aircraft and personnel. In addition, the Great Western Railway re-named some of its engines after Second World War aircraft. The tradition has continued into modern times as the newly built ‘A1’ class locomotive is named ‘Tornado’ in recognition of the jet fighter aircraft of the same name. This generously illustrated publication highlights the relevant steam locomotives and additionally examines the origin of the military names.

Recommended if the subject is of particular interest, especially if you have the other volumes.

The Railway Observer

This is a real treasure trove of railway (and military) trivia... Historic photographs are in a sepia tint which looks surprisingly effective. An oddity among railway books, though curiously fascinating.

The Society of Model and Experimental Engineers

Reviewed alongside British Steam Military Connections: LNER Steam Locomotives & Tornado

Both books feature pin-sharp images and quality monochrome and colour reproduction, and are highly recommended additions to the social history of our railways.

West Somerset Railway Association

Overall this book strikes one as being somewhat in the 'coffee table' style although the author has managed, without producing a dense text, to cram in enough interesting information to hold the reader's attention and keep the pages turning.

Tenterden Terrier, March 2020

As featured by

Best of British, March 2019

The author presents a first class selection of monochrome and colour images, supported by clear descriptive text in explanation and linking of the images. The transport images will be greatly appreciated by rail enthusiasts, but there are also images and excellent text depicting the subjects for which the locomotives were named.

This is a delightful, evocative book that is affordable and of first rate quality in its production. Should become a transport best seller.

Read the full review here


This is a well-researched book that can be picked up again and again.

Steam World, August 2018

About Keith Langston

Cheshire based Keith Langston is a widely published and highly respected photo journalist specialising in railway and other transport related subjects. His interest and vast knowledge of all things railway stem from being brought up in the North West of England as part of a railway family. Over the past 25 years he has operated as a contributor to heritage sector journals whilst establishing himself as an accomplished author in his own right.

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